It is most interesting to note that the guidelines used in reaching this decision by the BBFC includes the assumed criteria that because games are interactive, they are different to other forms of screen entertainment and should be rated accordingly.
There is no evidence for it to make such a flawed assumption and concerns should be apparent that through pressure from Government, games are becoming increasingly and wholly unjustifiably separated from other forms of screen entertainment.
Thus prejudiced and equally unjustifiable comparisons are forming its and the BBFC’s judgements. We know of course from other legislation in recent years, that many politicians vote for it based on their own narrow and often ignorant opinions and from media pressure – not listening to evidence at all, even to official research reports instigated by themselves.
It seems to me that the Government and thus the BBFC have become heavily influenced by previous events which in no way have any link to our industry, other than the fact that someone with a certain opinion stated that there is, without a shred of knowledge or fact to justify such a claim.
Of course the real debate in the UK should be about whether, in what is often called a ‘civilised society’, adult people should at last be given the responsibility for making informed judgements as to what they or their children do/watch/play, or whether they should continue to be told by the State what is or is not good for them.
The fact is though, Manhunt 2 may be a popular and well recognised creative cultural icon a few years down the line or perhaps even sooner, just as many other forms of ‘banned’ screen entertainment and even books became popular in our recent past.